How do I select a subject?
The first step in doing a science fair
project is selecting a subject. Before selecting a subject for your
science fair project, you must check any special requirements outlined by
your teacher or your school. You must know if your are supposed to do an
experimental project or if you can also do a display project or an engineering
What are experimental projects?
Experimental science projects are
projects that study the effect of one specific factor (or variable) on
another. Following are samples of experimental science projects:
- How does temperature affect
- How does the amount of oxygen in the
air affect the rate at which the heart beats?
- How does the concentration of sulfuric
acid affect its rate of reaction with iron?
Students in the 8th grade are often
required to do an experimental Science fair project. Experimental projects,
also known as investigatory projects, use the scientific method to
provide trustable results.
What are display projects?
Display projects involve the construction of
models or drawing diagrams that can improve your understanding about
specific science related subjects. Some science fair projects classified
as display projects are:
- Make a model of the heart
- Make a model of the eye
- Make a DNA model
- Make a volcano model
What are engineering projects?
Engineering science fair projects involve
construction of machines, structures, circuits, robots and any device that
requires technical knowledge and skill. In engineering projects you don't
have one specific question, instead you have hundreds of questions and
challenges that you must overcome in order to make something work or make
it work better. Samples of engineering projects are:
- Construct an electric motor
- Construct an electric generator
- Make a blinking light
- Make an electronic scale
- Make an electromagnetic crane
What is the Scientific method?
The scientific method is a collection of
steps and rules that together can help you conduct an experimental
project and get reliable results.
In the scientific method you must first have
a clear question. For example the question "How does light affect the
rate of growth in tomato plant?" is a clear question that can be used
in a scientific method; however, the question "How do plants
grow?" is not a specific question and is not acceptable in a scientific
The second step in a scientific method is
defining the variables. The main two variables such as light and the rate
of growth of tomato plant are known as independent and dependent
variables. A scientific method also requires you to identify any other variables
that may possibly affect the growth of a tomato plant. Such variables must
be classified as controlled variables and constants.
The third step in scientific method is
hypothesizing. In other words you must have an educated guess about the
answer to your question or the results of your experiments. This is
required so you can discover the relations between different scientific
The fourth step is designing and
performing the experiments. Experiments must usually be repeated with
different values of your independent variable while you measure and record
the dependent variable. For example you may grow tomato plants with
different amounts of light and measure and record the plant growth.
The final step of a scientific method is
analyzing the results and drawing a conclusion. In this step you must look
for inconsistencies and possible errors in your results. You must also
decide if you have a conclusive result or if further experiments are